« PoprzedniaDalej »
ing the laft Captivity of the Jews, out of which when they were once delivered, they should never more be brought under Bondage to any Strangers. (v. 8.) And lastly of a devouring Fury and impetuous Whirlwind, which fhall confume the Enemies of God and his People. (v. 16, 23. compared with c. xxiii. 19, 20.)
In the thirty firft Chapter the Prophet difcourfes at large about the Revocation of Ifrael and Ephraim, in Words denoting the utmost Affection and Tendernefs. But he lets them know that Repentance muft go along with it, and the new Law be written in their Hearts, that fo they may all fincerely and inwardly know the Lord. Moreover God declares that his Promises are no less firm than the Ordinances of Heaven, or the Nature of Things. (v. 35, 36, 37. See c. xxxiii. 20, 21. and Ifaiah liv. 10.)
In the thirty third Chapter, the Prophet returns to the fame Argument about the Reftauration of fudah and Ifrael, and that in the Days of the Meffiah, (v. 15, 16.) which I fhall leave to the Reader's Confideration, that I may not too often repeat the fame things. Alfo this Prophet in another Place promifes (c. xlvi. 27, 28.) the Ifraelites, that after they have been defervedly punished for their Sins, they fhall at length be reftored to Peace and Tranquillity, the Nations whither they were driven being diffipated. Compare Isaiah xli. 13, &c. xliii. 5. &c. and Ixiv. 2. Jer. xxx. 10, 31.
Having made thefe brief Obfervations, with reference to Jeremiah's Prophecies, about the Restauration of the Jews, we fhall proceed to Ezekiel. Now this Prophet being carried away to Babylon, prophefied in that Captivity; nor have any other of the Prophets uttered strange Vifions or Prophecies. But we fhall only touch upon those which feem to refer to fome Reftitution of the Ifraelites, after
after their Deliverance from Babylon. For which Reason, and that we may avoid Difputes, we shall pafs directly to the thirty fourth Chapter, which treats of the Restauration of the Jews, under the Government and Reign of the Meffiah (v. 8, 23, 24.) or David the King. We find that under his Protection the Yoak of the Gentiles being thrown off, the Jews fhall live fafe and happy, without being molefted with noxious wild Beafts, or Enemies of any Sort; and fhall pass their Days in the profoundest Peace, and the utmost Plenty. The Prophet mentions all these Circumstances in this Chapter from the twenty fifth Verse to the End, in the moft fignificant and copious Expreffions. Compare them with chap. xvi. 60, 61, &c. xx. 33,
In the thirty feventh Chapter we have an Account of the Refurrection, and quickning of the dry. Bones; in which Reprefentation the Prophet gives a very lively View of the Reftauration of the fews, being as it were a Refurrection from the Dead. Compare Ifaiah xxvi. 19. with Rom. xi. 15. Alfo a real and literal Refurrection is here shadowed only; and if you understand it of the first, I think it will not be far diftant from the Time of the Jewifb Reftauration. For both these times feemed to be connected by Daniel, (c. xii. 1.) where Michael is faid to deliver the Children of Ifrael from their extremeft Troubles; the great Prince who ftandeth for the Children of thy People.
These Words were spoken to Daniel about the Reftauration of the Jews; and then a proper and literal Resurrection is fubjoined, as immediately to follow, (v. 2.) And many that fleep in the Duft of the Earth fhall awake, &c. Thus far Daniel. we must enquire concerning what Reftauration of Ifrael, Ezekiel is here difcourfing, according to the
exprefs Tenor of his Words; he fays that at that time Judah and Ifrael fhall be united, and this Union was prefigured by the joining of two Sticks together. (v. 15.) He adds, that this Union will hap pen under David their King. (v. 24.) This denotes, if I mistake not, fome time which is yet future. And if you are defirous of knowing the State and Characters of that future time, under the Reign of David the King, hear what follows in the fame Prophet, ( xxxvii. 25, 26, 27, 28.) And they (he is fpeaking of the Ifraelites) fhall dwell in the Land that I have given unto Jacob my Servant, wherein your Fathers have dwelt, and they shall dwell therein, even they and their Children, and their Children's Children for ever, and my Servant David fhall be their Prince for ever. Moreover I will make a Covenant of Peace with them, it shall be an everlasting Covenant with them, and I will place them and multiply them, and will fet my Sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My Tabernacle also shall be with them: yea I will be their God, and they shall be my People. And the Heathen fhall know that I the Lord do fanctify Ifrael, when my Sanctuary fall be in the miaft of them for ever
The Land of Canaan is here promifed to the Jews, for an Habitation under David the Servant of God, and their Prince. And then a Covenant of perpetual Peace is made with them; and the Tabernacle and Sanctuary of God placed in the midft of them for ever. And hence the Heathens will know that God does for ever fanctify Ifrael.
The Jews may expect thefe mighty Privileges, in the Reign of the Meffiah, fince they have not as yet been fulfilled. That they are not come to país is evident to all who by David the King un derftand the Meffiah. And St. John in his Defcrip tion of the new Jerufalem (Rev. xxi. 3.) repeats
thofe things which are spoken about the Tabernacle of God, which was fixed in the midft of them (which the Chaldee Paraphraft rightly expounds concerning the majestic Prefence of God,) therefore they belong to the fame State and Time; and as yet are not fulfilled, but, according to the fame St. John, are to take place after the fubduing of Anti
But to proceed, the two following Chapters (xxxviii, and xxxix) of Ezekiel, are taken up with an Account of Gog and Magog; and of a dreadful War undertaken by them against Ifrael and the People of God in the latter Days. But these Enemies being overthrown by the Vengeance of Heaven, and with an immenfe Slaughter, God renews his Promises to the Ifraelites, and affures them that by the pouring out of his Spirit upon the House of Ifrael, he will for ever preferve them. (v. 23. See Joel ii. 28. and Zech. xii. 10.)
All Interpreters are puzzled in their Expofitions of the War by Gog and Magog; and no wonder if they defcend to Particulars. In general we may obferve from this and other Prophecies, that a great and bloody War will preceed the End of this World, and the fupreme Redemption of the Ifraelites and People of God. This general Redemption of the Pious, and divine Vengeance on wicked Men, which is to be difplayed in the latter Days, is variously prefigured in the prophetic Writings. Here, under the Name of a War, or wicked Rebellion, and fighting against God, as in the Song of Mofes, (Deut. xxxii. 41, 42, 43.) other Prophecies are of a like Nature with this Place. (If..xxiv, and Ixiii. Joel iii. 10. Micha iv. 11. Zeph. iii. 8. Zech. xiv. Rev. xvi.) Elfew here this fame State and Time feem to be represented under the Name of the Cup of the Indignation of God, to be poured out upon all
Nations and wicked Men. (If. li. 22, 23. Pf. xi. 6. and lxxv. 8. Jer. xxv. 15. Rev. xiv. 10.) Moreover this Judgment or laft Revenge of God upon his Enemies, is fometimes reprefented in the Nature of a Whirlwind or Tempeft, or Fire and Sulphur. (Jer. xxx. 23, 24. P. xi. 6.) And Ezekiel in this Place takes notice that about this fame time there will be a general Perturbation and Confufion of Nature. (v. 18, 19, 20.) Now as yet we have feen no Catastrophes of this kind, either in the Nature of things or human Affairs; therefore thefe things feem naturally to refer to the End of this prefent World; when the obftinate Enemies of God are to be confumed with Fire and Tempefts at the fecond coming of Chrift. (Compare 2 Thef. i. 7, 8,9, &c. 2 Pet. iii. 7. Rev. xi. 19.)
But when these things are accomplished, what fhall become of Ifrael? They fhall be restored, fays the Prophet, to their own Country. (v. 28.) And at last closes the Prophecy with thefe Words, Neither will I hide my Face any more from them: for I have poured out my Spirit upon the House of faith the Lord.
You fee the Prophet here fpeaks about the last Difperfion or Defolation of Ifrael; fince their final and perpetual Reftitution is to follow; together with the Manifeftation of the Face of God, or his majeftic Prefence; for fo this Place is expounded by the Chaldee Paraphraft.
Thus far as to our Argument; I know not whether we ought here to recal to memory thefe Words of the Prophet, Art thou he (c. xxxviii. 17.) (fpeaking of Gog and Magog) of whom I have spoken in old times by my Servants the Prophets of Ifrael, which prophesied in those days, many Years, that I would bring thee against them.